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Posted at 7:00 AM ET, 06/15/2009

Are Dogs Really the Best Judge of Human Character?

By Michael Cavna

The early a.m. roundup, from the inspired to the creatively tired...

'NON SEQUITUR' (UPS)Enlarge Image

I've had dogs. I've had cats. There was the odd rabbit, box turtle and garden snake (though not in the same cage...for long). And growing up, there was also an old stunt horse, a veteran of Hollywood westerns, who would respond unpredictably to random commands like "Stagecoach!"

Yet the shrewdest judge of character I ever came across was a lithe, streetwise tabby who ruled the neighborhood with fierce, blue-eyed intelligence. If she liked someone, the neighborhood amusingly knew the individual must be a pretty fair character.

All of which -- spurred by today's "NON SEQUITUR" -- prompts the Official 'Riffs Reader Question of the Day: What type of pet do you think is the best judge of human character?

'Riffs invites your replies, which will be promptly lapped up.


'GARFIELD' (UPS)Enlarge Image

SPONGECAT SQUAREDOG: In today's "GARFIELD," the visually morphed Jon looks startingly like a big-eared version of Squidward from "SpongeBob SquarePants." (Compare Squidward's image for yourself.)

'RED AND ROVER' (WPWG)Enlarge Image

TASTE TEST: Jules Feiffer, eh? Now we know that Red has particularly good, if not precocious, taste. Good on ya, Red.

'ZITS' (SOURCE)Enlarge Image

BEST/"WORST" VISUAL OF THE DAY: To sum up the second panel of today's juicy "ZITS" in a single word: Yeeps! I'm both repelled and oddly compelled to gaze at that art. (Which, actually, is quite the twin feat.) If nothing else, it would make for a mean "suction-cup" car-window toy to rival anything Garfield ever committed to plastic.

'FAMILY CIRCUS' (KFS)Enlarge Image

CIRCUS TACT: Somehow, I get strangely optimistic when one of the "children" scribbles "FAMILY CIRCUS" all week -- in the sudden hope that one of the gags might ring with true, brutal childlike honesty.

By Michael Cavna  | June 15, 2009; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  The Morning Line  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Best of the Sunday Funnies: We Pick 'Em
Next: Reader Poll: Who Draws Lil' Kim Jong-Il Best?


Dogs are unswervingly loyal to whomever feeds them. Their loyalty can be bought for the price of a bag of kibble.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 15, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

My pet rock could always discern the trustworthy person. It would sit there docilely. It would fling itself at the untrustworthy, however.

Posted by: hlabadie | June 15, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Dogs instinctively fear people with bad intentions towards them, and anyone who would hurt a dog cannot be any good as a human being.

Posted by: suthenr | June 15, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

The best judge of human character is Mary Worth. The name is no accident; Mary exists solely to ascertain your worth, and then she will mete out eternal torment upon those who do not measure up. Abandon all hope, ye who incur the wrath of Mary.

Posted by: seismic-2 | June 15, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Someone should kill off The Family Circus once and for all. What an inane collection of garbage.

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | June 15, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Cats are a little smarter than dogs in this respect, but they are less helpful. If a cat doesn't like someone, the cat will simply disappear. There's no gradation of evil. Dogs stick around, and their level of distrust is a clear indicator of how worried the owner should be. Dogs sniff, protectively stare, stand next to the owner's side to ensure safety, growl, bare its teeth, or even resort to aggression.

So I vote dog.

Posted by: lolyla | June 15, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

for heavens sake: a dog will stay with someone even if he beats, starves and neglects it. A cat will say "see ya" and be long gone.

Posted by: 2old2readcomics | June 16, 2009 2:38 AM | Report abuse

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